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The Oldest Iranian Arch


03 May 2004



Studies in Haft Tapeh in Khozestan province show the arch of the tomb of Tepti-Ahar, the Ilamite King, as the oldest arch in Iran.

Archeologists so far believed that Ctesiphon (Kisra) arch, belonging to the Sasanid era, is the oldest arch in Iran, but more research on the old arches of the country has proved them wrong, determining the arch of Tepti-Ahar’s tomb as the oldest.

According to head of the archeology team of Haft Tapeh, Hamid Fadai, no such important arch has ever been discovered in other parts of Iran. The arch lacks specific techniques and has a simple primitive form in comparison to other arches in Chogha Zanbil area that enjoy more detailed works, however, they are built 150 years after the Tepti-Ahar’s.

The first excavations in Haft Tapeh go back to pre Islamic Revolution time when architectural remains and items dating to the fourth millennium B.C. were discovered by Dr. Negahban.

Those studies also led to the discovery of two hills, actually two clay structures or as Negahban says two ziggurats, belonging to the Ilamite era.

Throughout the past year archeological activities were carried out in the site, explained Fadai: the trenches made in the previous studies which were causing damage to the site were filled by clay, the ditches made for excavation were also filled to make the exact documentation of the area possible, its documentation was completed and some preservation works were carried out.

According to Fadai, the coming year’s programs will focus on preservation of the historical site, and based on geophysics data, some limited excavations will also be made to provide the experts with information on unknown corners that will help the task of preservation.

Tepti-Ahar tomb is the most significant structure of Haft Tapeh and the only one that has so far been unearthed intact. A large number of the historical structures of the area, however, remain a mystery to be solved by experts and archeologists.



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